We can imagine that in 2050, problems will be still human and natural but solutions would be virtual and digital.
Geo-Politics : from tradition to 2.0
Key words:multi-culturalism, tolerance, environment, ethnicity, Arab spring, cyber-activism, social medias
Roots of disagreement
Interactions between humans and others and humans and their environment, led and will lead to difficult situations, like sharing a land, a territory.
Gold wash and deforestation in South-America, uranium and diamonds exploitations in Africa, water and petrol wars in Middle-East, climate change refugees in Asia, make us realize that we, our economic system and our way of life, are linked to how we manage our environment.These still updated challenges, should be solved quickly but they raise one question : are we really ready to do that ? If, our societies led to these situations, isn't it because of our own interests and despite our neighbours' ones ?
Culture, religion and/or ethnicity define human beings, in order to help them to be organised, to survive. These different points which gather us, these common points which make us diverse, are too often used to generate clashes between people, forgetting our natural desire to live in harmony and tolerance together. The Human Security Report Project, in its 2012 report, indicated it is now widely accepted the number of armed conflicts has declined substantially over the last two decades. Analysis of the report by international relations security network ETH Zurich further suggested that there is little support for an overall trend towards longer conflicts.
But how to deal with fundamentalisms of different types ? And how to reach mutual understanding and peace though mass and social medias prisms ?
Conflicts and Social Media
Since 2011, we've deeply recognized the role of social medias during wars and conflicts. Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and nowadays Turkey, are some sad examples.
Twitter, Facebook had been used to spread informations, to create civil rebellions against repressive regims and then, to organise a new form of peoples' empowerment.
Newly acknowledged, every citizen gets information to become a cyberactivist, to decide about his/her political representatives, his/her future.
In which framework, social medias could be a real vector for civil society and be wholly reliable ? And how could social medias be turned into weapons of war like other technologies? This latter point may be especially pertinent given comments made by the independent watchdog Freedom House in its ‘Freedom on the Net 2012: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media’ report, namely, that “Governments are responding to the increased influence of the new medium by seeking to control online activity, restricting the free flow of information, and otherwise infringing on the rights of users”.
Democracy 3.0 and beyond ?
Key words : democracy, governance, cyber-protection, citizen
Geo-politics 2.0, our nowadays geopolitics reaches its limits. This situation allowed us to re-think a new model of citizen's involvment.
As far as our physical protection goes through cyber-protection, could initiatives like Anonymous' action or Wiki-Leaks, be relevant ? Faceed with new NSA PRISM scandal, could our governments imagine new relationships with citizens, new kinds of governance, a democracy 3.0 ?
Glenn Greenwald (Journalist-Columnist) : « This dynamic - the hallmark of a healthy and free society - has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That's the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable. »
The results of all brainstormings undergone at the "Ground-breaking Policies for Future Societies" workshop, including this very vision, can be found here.
Leading image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Social media, democracy and good governance, Tim Unwin (http://www.commonwealthgovernance.org/assets/uploads/2012/10/Social-media-democracy-and-good-governance.pdf)
Social media and conflict prevention, Sheldon Himelfarb (http://www.usip.org/publications/social-media-and-conflict-prevention)
The use of media, including social media, to enhance citizen engagement and democracy, Resolution of the 128th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (http://www.ipu.org/conf-e/128/res-3.htm)
Turkey's twitter generation is its European future, Heather Grabbe (http://www.opendemocracy.net/heather-grabbe/turkeys-twitter-generation-is-its-european-future%E2%80%A8)
Interview with Evgeny Morozov, Rick Docksai (http://www.wfs.org/content/futurist-interviews-net-democracy-expert-evgeny-morozov)
Rule without Rulers, Michael Hardt (http://www.theeuropean-magazine.com/michael-hardt--3/6574-the-future-of-democracy)
New study quantifies use of social media in Arab Spring, Catherine O'Donnell (http://www.washington.edu/news/2011/09/12/new-study-quantifies-use-of-social-media-in-arab-spring/)
Crowdsourcing as a tool in conflict prevention, Anne Kahl, Christy McConnell and William Tsuma (http://www.accord.org.za/images/downloads/ct/ACCORD_Conflict_Trends_2012_1.pdf)
Human Security Report 2012 (http://www.hsrgroup.org/human-security-reports/2012/overview.aspx)
Human Security Report 2012, Chapter 6: Persistent Armed Conflict - An Increasing Threat? (http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Articles/Detail/?lng=en&id=156459)
New Report: Governments Grow Increasingly Repressive Online, Activists Fight Back(http://www.freedomhouse.org/article/new-report-governments-grow-increasingly-repressive-online-activists-fight-back)